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Meet Emma Mullins of Emma Mullins Photography in Carroll Arts District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Mullins.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Emma. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my business part-time in 2012, mostly doing portraits and various projects for local entrepreneurs. When I photographed my first wedding in 2014, I realized it was totally different than anything I was used to! I wanted to learn more about what it takes to be a wedding photographer, so I signed up for the program at Chicago Photography Academy and eventually landed an internship with an accomplished Chicago wedding photographer in 2015.

My internship changed EVERYTHING. It was the first time I was able to experience this career out in the field and on the back end, attending client consults, strategizing social media, bookkeeping, assembling galleries, and actually shooting weddings (A LOT of weddings). I upgraded my gear, I was able to experiment, and I learned so much in six months’ time that I finally felt ready to start offering my services to paying clients. Shout out to Megan Saul Photography for taking me under her wing!

I’ve been photographing mostly couples and weddings ever since, and in July 2017 my business went full-time! I am constantly learning something new, and my work continues to improve every single day. Already I’ve had the opportunity to travel internationally, and have met some incredible people along the way. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for 2018!!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of the biggest challenges up until recently has been working another job while trying to build a business. Things like sleep were often an afterthought.

There is so much I want to do with my photography and so many things I’d like to integrate into my business that I’m just now being able to experiment with. People ask “What will you do during offseason?” and all I can think is “What offseason?”! There is always something to work on, something to improve, something to create.

Right now the greatest challenge is probably establishing a healthy work-life balance. I put all of myself into my business, and I really do have the most wonderful clients! It sounds silly, but sometimes I need to remind myself to go be a person outside of the office.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My work is based on documenting real moments. I don’t do a lot of posing – more directing if anything. I encourage my couples to be themselves in front of the camera, whether that means acting ridiculous together or sharing a quiet, romantic moment. Really, the point is for us to have fun together!

I think one of my strengths as a photographer is an ability to provide a sense of calm for my couples on their wedding day. Many couples have expressed this, and I’m always so happy to hear it! My job is as much about the experience of being photographed as it is about receiving gorgeous images to look back on.

Aesthetically, I’m drawn to bold, true colors, and I LOVE a good black & white. I’m inspired by cityscapes and new environments in general. My favorite images are always the unexpected, in-between moments.

What were you like growing up?
I was a Theatre kid! I went to an Arts high school in Milwaukee (hello, MHSA!!). Actually, the first photography class I took was in my high school darkroom. I’ve always been into taking photos, but never really thought of it as a career until more recently.

What else was I like? I loved to write. I loved to perform. I was kind of a tomboy, but the only sport I was good at was softball. I was always pretty independent; I moved out of my parents’ house in high school and bought a car with the money I’d saved working at a frozen custard place (it was a convertible, too! I swear I used to be cool!).

Never once did I think I’d own my own business – but I’m pretty excited about the way things are panning out these days.


  • Wedding collections begin at $2600
  • Average investment is $4000

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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